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IPL desk in Hamilton 16 March 2012 - 11:22am IST

RCB’s de Villiers (83) puts SA on top

DC’s Dale Steyn helps SA consolidate position against NZ

AB de Villiers scored a battling 83, while Dale Steyn took two wickets in nine overs, to put South Africa on top on Day 2 of the second Test against New Zealand here at Seddon Park, Hamilton. de villiers’ innings gave South Africa a first-innings lead of 68 runs against the hosts, while Steyn’s two-wicket haul before close of play ensured that the visitors had reduced the Kiwis to 65 for four at stumps.

South Africa resumed the day from their overnight score of 27 for the loss of two wickets from where they quickly slid to 88 for six thanks to some incisive bowling by Kiwi paceman Mark Gillespie (five for 59). But de Villiers, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s ace middle-order batsman, struck a patient 63-run stand with Mark Boucher for the seventh wicket, which saved the visitors from a humiliating collapse.

de Villiers brought up his 28th Test half-century off 85 deliveries and by the time he was dismissed, South Africa had already stretched their lead to 34 runs. Morne Morkel, the tall paceman who will turn out for Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2012, also came good with an unbeaten 35* that helped stretch the visitors’ score past 250.

Having taken a crucial lead, South Africa then went on to extend their dominance by taking four opposition wickets before stumps. Vernon Philander and Deccan Chargers’ Dale Steyn took two wickets each even as Kane Williamson remained unbeaten on 41.

New Zealand will now begin Day 3 trailing South Africa by three runs with six wickets in hand.

Brief scores: New Zealand
1st innings 185/10 in 61.2 overs (Brendon McCullum 61, Ross Taylor 44, Vernon Philander 4/70, Dale Steyn 3/49) and New Zealand 2nd innings 65/4 in 31.0 overs (Kane Williamson 41*, Dale Steyn 2/10); South Africa 1st innings 253/10 in 77.3 overs (AB de Villiers 83, Morne Morkel 35*, Mark Gillespie 5/59)

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